After 8 years under Novartis ownership, Alcon is officially an independent, publicly traded company.
On Tuesday, Alcon completed its separation from Novartis and its shares begin trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ALC.” American depositary receipts of Alcon opened on Tuesday at $57.81, giving the company a market value of about $28 billion.
Alcon, which is the largest eye care device company in the world, will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, will remain a major operational center and innovation hub with a large base of employees.
Novartis, which acquired Alcon from Nestle in 2011, decided to split off the Alcon unit as it looks to solely focus its resources on pharmaceuticals.
Eye care is an approximately $23 billion a year market, growing at roughly 4 percent annually. Last year, Alcon had sales of $7.1 billion, including $4.0 billion in its Surgical segment—up 7 percent from the prior year—and $3.1 billion in Vision Care—up 3 percent.
In email correspondence with Eyewire News, the now independent Alcon outlined its near-term and long-term growth strategies.
“In the near term, we’re capitalizing on several organic growth drivers. Longer-term, we’ll drive growth by innovating new products, expanding into new markets, creating new business models and operating more efficiently,” according to Alcon.
Alcon stated that near-term growth will be driven by products such as advanced technology IOLs (ATIOLs), Dailies Total1 contact lenses, Systane eye drops for dry eye, and vitreoretinal devices.
“By 2020, these products will account for approximately 80 percent of our growth,” Alcon stated.
In its Surgical business, Alcon said it plans to continue to invest in its presbyopia-correcting PanOptix and ReSTOR IOL brands, and in its cataract and consumables business. In Surgical, Alcon is combining new IOL technologies and developing advanced surgical equipment such as next-generation lasers, robotics, and other apparatus for cataract, vitreoretinal and laser-refractive surgery, as well as improved visualization.
In Vision Care, Alcon is developing novel silicone-hydrogel contact lens materials, advanced surface treatments building on our unique water gradient technologies, and designs to extend its product lines to address astigmatic patients, as well as the rapidly growing presbyopia segment.
Alcon stated that it sees significant growth in markets around the world due to under-penetration of premium surgical devices and vision care portfolios, and will heavily focus on geographies such as India, Brazil, and China.
As part of the spinoff, Alcon debuted a new logo and launched a new global website that can be found at www.alcon.com.